Paternity determination establishes the biological father of a child as the legal father. When a child is born to unmarried parents, the child has a biological father but does not have a legal father. The biological father has no rights or responsibilities to the child unless and until paternity is determined. Once paternity is established, the biological father is recognized as the legal father, and the child has the same legal rights as a child born to married parents.
Paternity tests are unraveling a lot of buried family secrets. Keeping family secrets isn’t as easy as it used to be and just one paternity test could change everything for better or for worse. Many children are experiencing paternity scandals by learning that their father is really not their biological father.
Paternity fraud is high in Africa especially Nigeria. Reports have it that Nigeria has the 2nd highest rate of paternity fraud in the world after Jamaica. Experts note that currently, the situation in Nigeria is quite high and the majority of the first-borns are affected. Nigerian national daily, the Vanguard, reported that 30% of Nigerian men are not the biological fathers of their first children
Many men have been unknowingly raising children that are not theirs and to curb the trend, there have been calls for the introduction of mandatory Paternity testing at birth. Once a man admits he is the father of a child, the case is closed, It is paternity by acknowledgment. A man is presumed to be the father of a child once the child is born within wedlock. It is often said that a woman is in the best position to identify the father of her child, so once a woman fingers a particular man, case closed. However, developments show that proving paternity is often not as straightforward.
But rampant cases of denials, disputes, and counterclaims of paternity have been making the rounds. When the paternity test of their children failed to match with that of the men believed to be their fathers, several women were accused of unfaithfulness and condemned into the abyss of marital ignominy, but the resulting scandal snowballed into one of the most shocking revelations in the history of parental disputes
According to the American Association of Blood Banks, globally, a third of all men are not the actual fathers of their presumed children. “My life has crumbled. Living means nothing to me now than a pack of trash. It would have been better for me not to be born than to face such miserable and uncanny situation.” these were the shattering words of Mr. Shogunle, who recently discovered that the four boys whom he witnessed their birth and catered for as a loving father would be, after all, not his biological children.
Establishing paternity gives a child a legal father who is then bestowed rights and obligations relating to the care of his child. Paternity can be established if the child was born in wedlock or if the man and woman are unmarried but sign a paternity affidavit, or a court establishes paternity.
There are many ways to determine paternity but for the scope of this article we are limiting it to ABO blood system of Paternity determination
In the ABO blood typing system, humans can possess the A antigen (“A” blood type), the B antigen (“B” blood type), both the A and B antigen (“AB” blood type), or neither of these antigens (“O” blood type). Red blood cell antigen systems of this sort can be used for paternity blood testing because there are genes that code for the antigens and these are inherited genes.
A mother who has Type B blood and a father who has Type O blood could not have a child who has type AB blood. The true father of the child must have the gene for the A antigen.
ABO SYSTEM OF PATERNITY TEST TABLE
|PARENTS||CHILDREN POSSIBLE||CHILDREN NOT POSSIBLE|
|A x A||A, O||AB, B|
|A x B||A, B, AB, O||–|
|A x O||A, O||B, AB|
|B x B||B, O||A, AB|
|B x AB||A, B, AB||O|
|B x O||B, O||A, AB|
|AB x AB||A, B, AB||O|
|AB x O||A, B||AB, O|
|A x AB||A, B, AB||O|
|O x O||O||A, B, AB|
If one has “AB” blood group, it means that one of your parents is “A” or “AB” and the other is “B” or “AB”. If you have “O” blood group, it means that you must have had parents who each carry the Gene for “O” although they may be phenotypically either A or B. On the basis of blood group alone it can never be proven that someone is the father of a particular child but it is possible to prove that someone could not be the father.
To prove that a man is the father of a child, we explore “DNA PATERNITY TEST”